A Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)

Director: Peter Weir

Starring: Rachel Roberts, Vivean Grey

Awards: Best Cinematography (British society of Cinematographers 1976, BAFTA 1977)

I was introduced to this film by the other founder of this site and found it to be a delightful little science fiction/mystery movie.  Based on the novel by Joan Lindsay, the film follows a group of schoolgirls who disappear without explanation upon visiting a strange rock formation in Austrailia.  Only one girl survives, but cannot remember what happened having suffered a concussion.

While believed to be based on a true story, the story was later revealed to be pure fantasy.  The film is executed with a startling sense of dread and wonder that keeps the viewer avidly watching similar to a Lynch film or a good episode of Lost.  The original novel had a chapter explaining the phenenoma, but the editor wisely advised the author to remove it.  If you are curious enough to read it before seeing the film, I’ll put the spolier below the trailer, but be sure not to miss this wonderfully shot, mysterious film.

Other Notable Films by this Director:  Gallipoli (1971), Dead Poets Society (1989), Master and Commander (2003)

From Wikipedia:

While walking past the hanging rock, the girls experience several incomprehensible phenomena. Driven giddy by some supernatural suggestion of the monolith, they throw their corsets over the cliff, though they never fall to the bottom and instead hang in space in an impossible fashion. The girls and Miss McCraw notice a mystical “hole in space”. Marion, Miranda, and Miss McCraw transform into small creatures and crawl into a hole in the rock, which another boulder then covers, leaving Irma alone and clawing at the fallen rock